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Lawson v. Louisville Jefferson Cty. Metro Gov't.

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville

December 21, 2017

GERRY LAWSON PLAINTIFF
v.
LOUISVILLE JEFFERSON CTY. METRO GOV'T. et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Greg N. Stivers, Judge United States District Court.

         This is a pro se civil rights action brought by a convicted prisoner pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted Plaintiff Gerry Lawson leave to proceed in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court for screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, the action will be dismissed.

         I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff brings this action against the Louisville Jefferson County Metropolitan Government (“Louisville Metro Government” (LMG)) and five individuals in both their official and individual capacities - Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer; Dan Goyette, Executive Director of the Louisville Metro Public Defenders' Office; Leo Smith, supervisor at the Louisville Metro Public Defenders' Office; and Mike Lemke and Matt Weyand, Plaintiffs' attorneys from the Louisville Metro Public Defenders' Office.

         Plaintiff states that, in 2013, he was arrested and charged with murder and arson. He writes that he has a long history of mental illness and has been prescribed medication for such. Plaintiff then alleges that when he “went to trial” in June 2017, Defendants Lemke and Weyand, his public defenders:

deliberately made sure that [Plaintiff] didn't have a pre-trial hearing, so he could suppress evidence and whether certain individual can testify. It was unfair to [Plaintiff] and he could not have a fair trial. Without being able to suppress evidence, the jury would think all the evidence in front of them was use in the crime. Which was unfair to [Plaintiff], being that [Plaintiff] had “mental issue” he was not aware of the procedure in the courtroom.
Plaintiff continues:
“Due Process:” The right of the individual to be aware of the evidence against him. If they would have presented all the evidence against [Plaintiff] at a pre-trial hearing, [Plaintiff] could suppress the evidence that did not contain to him so the jury would know he was not guilty. And he might would have had a fair trial. “Due Process:” further command that defendant have the right to call there own witnesses, mount their own evidence and present their own theory of fact. In order to properly mount a defense, the prosecution must turn over all the evidence against the defendant have a pretrial access to question the prosecution's witnesses. [Defendants] Lemke and Weyand knew [Plaintiff] had “mental issue” and was not aware of the procedure in the court room. So they “Deliberately Violated” his “Due Process.”

         Plaintiff claims that these actions by Defendants Lemke and Weyand violated his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

         Plaintiff further claims that Defendants Lemke and Weyand violated his Sixth Amendment “right to a fair trial” because they were “ineffective lawyers” who provided “inadequate representation.” To support this claim, Plaintiff alleges that these Defendants did not investigate “forensic evidence;” did not investigate the evidence that was “put in from of him in the courtroom”; did not object to harmful evidence or statements made against [Plaintiff]; did not “say anything about [Plaintiff]'s DNA”; and did not produce any of [Plaintiff]'s medical records regarding his “mental issue.”

         Finally, Plaintiff states that he “got 70 years for not understanding what was going on in the courtroom. I bet his two lawyers laughing at him right now. . . . They knew they could take advantage of him. . . . They like to cut corner in the court room at the expense of other people, knowing that their client might go to prison.”

         Plaintiff claims that these Defendants' treatment of him also violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages and well as “charges drop” and “release from Jail.”

         II. ...


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